Cupping therapy is used by celebrities from Instagram to Hollywood to help with health and beauty. In contrast, many have called it a sham and a pseudoscience that doesn’t produce measurable benefits. Here’s what we know about cupping.
How cupping therapy works
If you buy a cupping set, like so many athletes do, you will find a series of cups. These apply to the skin and create suction. As the tissue lifts and following a treatment, cupping marks remain. Over the course of a cupping treatment, you’re stimulating circulation. Old blood is moving out and new blood, filled with nutrients and oxygen, is moving in.
If you ask anyone on the street, they’ll probably share the opinion that cupping is a pseudoscience. Some scientists argue there are no health benefits to cupping and that it’s simplistic quackery. The unfortunate thing is that there aren’t very many studies done on cupping. For all intents and purposes, it’s still a new treatment to North Americans. That said, just because there’s no scientific evidence yet presented to establish a consensus doesn’t mean cupping therapy is a waste.
Acupuncture was first brought to North America in the early 1970s and at the time, it was perceived to be exotic, ineffective, and a sham. Years later, after careful study, we’ve found numerous benefits to acupuncture that are now scientifically proven to such a degree that even western medicine doctors are recommending it. Like acupuncture, cupping therapy’s a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Does it promise as much good benefit as acupuncture – unclear. Even so, those who use cupping feel a difference.
Many athletes use cupping therapy
A lot of athletes have silicone cupping sets at home. These silicone cups are so easy to use. Athletes certainly notice a difference in the before and after. Cupping has also been used on chronic pain sufferers and those suffering from a variety of conditions. Although the evidence is anecdotal, it’s worth sharing because cupping can really help someone in need. Unlike acupuncture which uses needles and/or other more invasive therapies, cupping is safe, with minimal risk, and is effective.
There’s no better example than Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps who routinely shows up to competitions and meets with cupping marks on them. For all those who dismiss cupping as gibberish, quackery, or a pseudoscience, if it works for an Olympic gold medalist, does this not establish it as something more than another celebrity beauty fad – of course.
Can cupping help you – give it a try and see. That’s the best advice we can give. Is cupping a pseudoscience? Simply put, no, it’s not. Unfortunately, as we await more study, all we can say is silicone cupping sets are inexpensive and the safest way to practice the ancient traditional therapy. For your needs, you may be surprised by how well it works.